Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving '13

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know I sure did! It was a wonderful times spent with family and friends. One of the special things about the day was that we got to use my great-grandma's china! I had so much fun setting it all up!
I wanted to take advantage of this Thanksgiving season to teach the kids what it means to be thankful. I made a thankful tree and we spent many afternoons coloring leaves, asking them what they were thankful for, writing it on the leaf, and letting them glue it on the tree. I also made up a little song about thankfulness and taught them "In every thing give thanks." It was a fun craft for the month of November, and a great way to teach the kids to be thankful!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful For Trials?

Just like anyone else, I've had some hard times in life. I shared a very personal story with you not too long ago (thank you for your kind words!), and there have been other things that will probably never be on the blog. Do you know what though? I'm thankful for those times! I know it sounds crazy, but it was during those times that I grew as a person. God used those trials in my life to change me and teach me things. And for that, I will always be thankful! 

Ps 119:71 - It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

"Every struggle in your life has shaped you into the person you are today. Be thankful for the hard times; they can only make you stronger." -unknown

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Grilled Cheese & Parmesan Tomato Soup

Grilled cheese and tomato soup is definitely one of those 'comfort foods'. I'm not the biggest fan of canned tomato soup, but homemade soup is a different story! I tried this recipe recently and really liked it, although I confess I made it a little different than the original recipe. :) There are a few other changes I would make next time too, so that's what I've written down for you. Enjoy!

Parmesan Tomato Soup
adapted from Your Home Based Mom

3 - 15 oz. cans of petite diced tomatoes, with juice
1 C finely diced celery
1 C finely chopped carrots
1 C finely diced onions
4 C chicken broth
1/2 C flour
1/2 C grated Parmesan Cheese (add more to taste)
1/2 C butter
2 C half and half, warmed
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper
Baby Spinach

Pulse the tomatoes, celery, carrots, and onions in a food processor, then put in crockpot with chicken broth. 
Cover and cook on Low for 5-7 hours.
Approx thirty minutes before serving make the roux.
Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add in flour.
Stir constantly for about 5 minutes
Slowly add in 1 cup of hot soup.
Add in 3 more cups of soup and stir until smooth.
Put all back into the crock pot.
Stir and add Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt, pepper, and oregano.
Cover and let cook on low for another 30 minutes or until ready to serve.
Add desired amount of baby spinach to individual servings.

Monday, November 25, 2013

What I'm Using: Makeup

1. almay cc cream // 2. mary kay mineral powder // 3. mary kay mineral blush in sunny spice // 4. almay intense i-color bold nudes for blue eyes // 5. ecotools eye brush set // 6. maybelline eyestudio gel eyeliner // 7. cover girl flamed out mascara // 8. revlon nearly naked pressed powder 

What I use for makeup can change throughout the year - there aren't many products that I'm 'faithful' to. I like to experiment with different things, and sometimes I change products because my needs change. 

Normally I have an oily complexion, but with the change in weather my skin has been very dry. I've had to change my skin care routine, and pretty much stop using powder all together. Right now I'm using almay cc cream as a foundation which I really like, but when I'm able to use powder I LOVE mary kay mineral powder. I've tried so many different ones, and that's by far my favorite. I like to have pressed powder in my purse in case I need to 'powder my nose', and revlon nearly naked is perfect for the job. :) 

For my eyes, I'm really liking the trio for blue eyes by almay. Typically I do a smoky eye by using all three colors, but when I don't feel like doing that I'll use the two lightest shades. I don't like using the little applicator that comes with eye shadows, so I have the brush set by ecotools that I really like! In the past I've used a pencil eyeliner, but I was having problems with it leaving it's mark on my upper eyelid by the end of the day...not pretty. So, I picked up this gel eyeliner and I'm pretty happy with it so far although it seems my eye shadow is finding it's way on my eyeliner. Maybe a primer would fix that? Mascara is probably the thing that I change up the most. I usually try something new every time. 

Hopefully this wasn't too boring. :) I like seeing what other people use, so I thought it would be fun to share what I'm using right now! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Mia Familia

I love my family SO much and am thankful for the wonderful relationship we have. I know not every one has a great relationship with their family, so I definitely don't want to take what we have for granted. It's definitely because of the Lord! I am so BLESSED!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What's For Dinner || Healthier General Tso's Chicken

I'm a big fan of Asian food. I like trying recipes at home, but a lot of times they call for strange ingredients that are hard to find and/or expensive, plus they don't always taste as good. However, this recipe for General Tso's Chicken is easy and really yummy. It's a win-win situation!

Healthier General Tso's Chicken
adapted from Kitchen Simplicity

1 pound chicken
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
6 tablespoons light brown sugar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups snow peas, trimmed and halved diagonally

For sauce: Mix together water and cornstarch until smooth. Stir in remaining garlic, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and snow peas. Set aside.

For chicken: Cut into bite size pieces. Season with salt and pepper.

To cook: Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in a small amount of oil. Once chicken is done, add sauce to skillet and cook until snow peas are tender and sauce is thickened. 

Serve with rice.

Monday, November 4, 2013

What Makes Me Happy

It's hard to believe that it's already November. Am I right?! The year has absolutely flown by! 

As soon as November hits, we start seeing lots of posts, status updates, tweets, etc about things that we're thankful for. Even though we are thankful all year round, there's just something about the month that holds Thanksgiving that stirs up in us a desire to express our gratitude even more. 

I was looking up some quotes about thankfulness and I found this one...

:: It's not happy people who are thankful, 
but thankful people who are happy ::

How true is this?! I know in my own life, I find that I'm more happy when I'm thankful rather than complaining. Funny how that works! 

There are several things that I want to talk about this month that I'm thankful for, but the first one is the Lord. I don't even want to imagine where I'd be without Him. Not only has He saved my soul, but He is with me guiding me and directing me every day. Seriously, how do people go through life without Christ? He's all I need! 

He loves me when I'm unlovable. He gives me mercy when I don't deserve it. He gives me grace to get through the hard stuff. He gives me peace that surpasses all understanding. There is such joy in knowing the Lord! 

What about you? Do you know the Lord and the joy that He brings?
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